Last night I was coming home from an amazing evening with a close friend (pedicure and dinner out) and realized that I wasn’t feeling that great. I wasn’t sick. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what was going on. And then it hit me. I was overwhelmed and overbooked. I finally figured out what it means by being out of “spoons”. I was out of spoons and I had too many plans for the next day; brunch with a dear friend, Easter dinner with more dear friends and Easter egg hunt with even more friends. I cancelled everything and decided to stay home today and take care of myself. No obligations to anyone other than myself.
I’m technically “retired”–which isn’t really true, since I’m working part-time (volunteer coordinator for SWOP –Sex Worker’s Outreach Project), coaching, writing two books and speaking all over Washington and the US — I’m busier than ever and loving it, for the most part. You see, I have a tendency to over commit. In fact, my friend I was supposed to be with today said when I canceled “Makes perfect sense, I think you keep the schedule of a madwoman. . .” She was right. Don’t get me wrong, I love being busy and I live for the relationships I have both platonic and romantic. They feed and sustain me. And public speaking, coaching and working for SWOP not only pays some of the bills, they are also sustaining and life affirming.
And yet, sometimes I need to stop and do self-care and that is what I’m doing today. It may not look like self-care to some (I’m writing this blog post and will be working on my International Ms. Leather Keynote) and it is for me — because I have zero obligations today (well one and that’s my Joke of the Day on Facebook every morning). And that for me is self-care, zero obligations. I can do things like read the Sunday paper. Sext with a cute boy from Toronto. Write this post. Answer emails and play video games. In a little while I’m going to do VR games with my roommate. And no shower, no getting dressed, no going anywhere, no obligations.
Self-care is finding what it is that heals you when you’re overwhelmed. It can be as simple as chocolate (which I’ll be eating later) or as complicated as sexting with someone you’ve never met. Self-care is when you can be selfish and do whatever it is you need to do to get back on track with your life. We all need a little self-care and that’s what I’ve done today. What is your self-care?